Federer Rolls to Quarterfinals in Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany — Top-seeded Roger Federer cruised past Czech qualifier Jan Hajek 6-4, 6-3 Thursday to reach the German Tennis Championships quarterfinals.
The four-time Hamburg champion is playing his first tournament since losing in the second round of Wimbledon.
Federer won only three of 13 break points and needed six match points to close out the match.
He produced a spectacular overhead smash winner with a flick of the wrist while stepping back in the final game.
Second-seeded Tommy Haas also advanced by beating Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-2, 6-4.
The German led 5-2 in the second set but dropped serve. He then wasted two match points on Berlocq’s serve before using his fourth to close out the second-round match, hitting a cross-court forehand winner.
Las Vegas — Charlotte is the home of the Hornets once again.
The NBA unanimously approved Charlotte’s nickname change from Bobcats to Hornets on Thursday at the league’s Board of Governors meeting. The original Hornets built a supportive fan base in Charlotte from the time they entered the league in 1988 until they moved to New Orleans in 2002.
But the new owners in New Orleans have changed the team’s name to the Pelicans. That opened the door for owner Michael Jordan to bring the Hornets name back to Charlotte. The change will take place after the 2013-14 season.
The board also approved an expansion of instant replay. Officials can now review block/charge plays after checking the replay to see if the defender was in the restricted area.
Sixers Whittle Down Coaching Candidates
Philadelphia — The 76ers’ coaching search appeared to be wide open with the recent leaks of potential candidates.
However citing coaching insiders, ESPN reported that the job will go to Brett Brown or Michael Curry.
The report noted that Brown, a San Antonio Spurs assistant, will be the last candidate interviewed for the job vacated by Doug Collins on April 18.
Curry, 44, is also the only candidate with NBA head coaching experience. He led the Detroit Pistons to a 39-43 record and a first-round playoff exit in 2008-09. Curry was fired after his only season as a head coach.
Kings Keep Captain
Los Angeles — The Los Angeles Kings agreed to an eight-year contract extension with Dustin Brown that will keep the team captain around through the 2021-22 season.
Brown had one year left on his current deal. He joins nine other Kings who have been signed to long-term deals, including Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Quick, Mike Richards and Jarret Stoll.
Brown has played his entire nine-year NHL career with the Kings, helping them win their first Stanley Cup in 2012. He is the team’s only American-born captain, a position he’s held since October 2008.
49er Won’t Face Assault Charges
San Francisco — The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office said it won’t pursue assault charges against San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks because of insufficient evidence in the case.
Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu-Towery said Thursday that Brooks will not face prosecution after further investigation into allegations that Brooks repeatedly hit a teammate on the head with a beer bottle in a June incident.
The district attorney’s office said early this month there was no arrest warrant for Brooks after one initially had been filed erroneously.
According to police, Brooks hit teammate Lamar Divens with the bottle three times and then punched him in the face during an early morning argument on June 8.
Walshe Leads in Ohio
Sylvania, Ohio — Alison Walshe, chasing her first victory in four years on the LPGA Tour, shot a 6-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead Thursday after the opening round of the steamy Marathon Classic.
Walshe, in the top 20 on tour in putting statistics, needed only 22 putts to negotiate hot and humid Highland Meadows. Paula Creamer, the 2008 winner of what used to be known as the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, played later in the day and shot a 66 that left her tied with teenager Lexi Thompson and Canadian Jessica Shepley.
Top-ranked Inbee Park birdied her final two holes for a 67. Defending champ So Yeon Ryu had a 68, and Se Ri Pak, a five-time winner of the tournament, opened with a 69.